Nick Jonas’ third solo studio album Spaceman consists of 11 tracks produced and created during the pandemic within a team of three (alongside producers Mozella and Greg Kurstin). It has a big sound to accompany large themes and the astronomical powerhouse vocals that Jonas has been known for as long as he’s been making music.
Among some of the best-produced tracks I’ve ever heard, there is a simple if not relatable story. Nick told Apple Music in an interview that the album acts as a set of “love letters to my wife.” Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas were separated during the pandemic due to her filming a movie, and Spaceman was born from it.
Even with the personal origin story, the tracks hold something that everyone can relate to from the past year. It’s divided into four different categories: distance, indulgence, euphoria, and commitment.
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A quick listen to the two singles ‘Spaceman’ and ‘This is Heaven’ — which Nick performed on Saturday Night Live just a few weeks ago — gives listeners an insight into the daring (and yes, successful) production (soul-rocking drums on the first, and groovy sax on the second) and ’80s synth-pop reminiscent album to come. But it would be a mistake to say that Spaceman steps away from Nick’s R&B tendencies as a whole. Tracks like ‘Sexual’ and the beat of the opening track ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’ attest to that.
Each of the tracks fits into its respective themes perfectly, but what’s most remarkable about this album is its cohesiveness. It’s an album you have to listen to top to bottom, in order, because each track fades into the next seamlessly — except for ‘Death Do Us Part,’ which cuts off abruptly and does so symbolically. You’re pulled through the journey without even consciously realizing it.
Every song on this album may not be for every listener, despite it being a top-to-bottom listen. But, cohesively, every song does fit together to tell a story. The seamless transitions assure this. ‘2Drunk’ sonically captures pandemic delirium and restlessness. ‘If I Fall’ is a beautiful ode to Nick and Priyanka’s wedding ceremony, where they took seven circles around the altar that represent seven lifetimes of being together. Lyrics like “If it’s this life or the next one / Promise that I’m always gonna find you” are not only heartwarming but also hopeful.
Spaceman as a whole is a successful experiment in reflective thinking, and also a reminder to cherish what is most important as the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel shines brighter.